Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Mont-Tremblant’ category

Lac Du Bois Franc and Pie Irons

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

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Beautiful campsites in the woods with no hookups

Beautiful campsites in the woods with no hookups

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45 at 5:00 AM, high of 86

After breakfast we decided to hike to Chute au Rats. The hike starts at the office and is really a bike path – again they are wonderful bike paths, really a small pebbled road. Figuring we would bike this path in the afternoon, we drove up to the falls. Its a very nice waterfall coming out of Lac au Rats and is the origin of another pretty stream that wanders its way to the St. Lawrence. Martha was quite happy to find a flush toilet there. 

Since that didn’t take long, we drove up Rt 2 and turned on Rt 28 (please see the photo) and turned again to a very small road to Lac Du Bois Franc. Coming to the end of the road, we parked and walked down to the lake. There was a tiny dock with a very large and heavy rowboat. You can rent these for $30/half day, which is $22 American. You have to pay at the office and either they take to oars up there or give them to you. I’m not sure which. That’s pretty nice. You would likely have this lake to yourself for the day, except for the two loons. I fished for 45 minutes, wading around the edge up to my waist with no luck. This was the shallow end of the lake, so the water was fairly warm. Any trout would likely be deeper where the water is cooler. Anyway it is a very pretty spot, and for the first time, we really felt we were in the wilds. Martha remarked that the dragon flies were huge, like small hummingbirds and they were all over the place. 

We returned to camp for lunch and quite hour, then took the bikes out of the truck and just leisurely rode around to explore. Stopping by the edge or our lake (Lac Lajoie), we talked to a nice couple who had rented bikes. He said something in French that we couldn’t understand, so we asked for English. It turns out they were from New York and gladly spoke in English. He works at Olana (?), a house designed by an artist of the same name. Maybe he needs to speak different languages for his job, but his French was perfect. They were headed for a kayak trip on Riviere de Diable tomorrow, so we assured them they would love it.

Cooking over a campfire is not so easy. How hot is the fire? How long will it take? Where do you put different things to cook? Martha wrapped corn on the cob in foil and waxed yellow beans in another. Then she grilled salmon, and it was all excellent. I don’t know what it is cooking over a fire, but it is always good. Partly I am surprised how well it can come out and partly it is the atmosphere of being outside, by a beautiful lake with the sun setting. 

Reading about camp cooking, I had bought three pie irons, for which Martha gave me endless grief. To her credit, tonight she suggested cooking desert in the pie irons. There are many recipes, but we had peaches and blueberries, so we decided on a pie. Using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, she wrapped the fruit, sweetening with brown sugar and honey. Putting them in two pie irons, I put them right in the coals. The recommendation is to cook for two minutes a side, but it just didn’t seem like enough, so I went for three a side. Slightly overcooked in the smaller, round iron, but perfect in the other. We split one pie and saved the other for breakfast. It was excellent, and the irons cleaned up easily. I can see why people rave about these.

Riviere de Diable

Monday, August 8, 2016

Martha wanted me to float the Riviere de Diable and see how I liked her kayak, so she dropped me off at 8:30. There was no one on the river and it was quite pleasant. I saw ducks and woodpeckers and an osprey. Paddling closer to get a picture of the osprey, I just about had a heart attack as my phone rang in the chest pocket of my fleece. We haven’t gotten reception for days! Fumbling around  to get to a good spot to answer, I missed the call. It was a Charlottesville number, so I called, but it was busy. Having left a message, “who is this?”, Danis, my next door neighbor, called me back. He is getting our mail and wanted to know what was important. Of all the places to get reception, floating a river at the base of a mountain. I guess I wasn’t too far from the camp office, so maybe they have a cell tower there. 

It was a pleasant float, and I did like Martha’s kayak. It’s a sit-on-top, so it is somewhere between a canoe and a kayak, so call it a hybrid. There are deep grooves and holes on the bottom to keep it straight, which would make it more difficult in white water, but we’re probably not doing white water. It would be fine in class I or II rapids.

After lunch we hooked up and headed for the eastern part of the park in the Pimbina Sector. A better road than I expected, we arrived at 2:00. A very pretty young lady helped us. She spoke English and there was no one else waiting! I bought a Quebec fishing license for the year, but since this is Canada, you can’t just buy a park fishing license, but you have to tell them what lake you are fishing in. Then you get a one or three-day permit. I couldn’t really get a handle on the streams. They also give you a report to turn in with the number of fish you caught, released, what size and what kind they were. It is their way of managing the fishery. You don’t see many people fishing, and maybe this is good. It is, however, very frustrating.

We needed a few groceries, so after setting up camp, we drove into Saint Donat. What a cute little town with outside restaurants, pubs and shops along the main street. We found a little Bistro with outdoor seating where the people seemed to be having a good time, and they had WIFI! Martha ordered a sangria and I had a glass of wine. OK, it may not be a good idea to post for the world to see late in the day while you are drinking! Some pictures went to the wrong place. 

Hiking and Driving Mont Tremblant

 

Sunday August 7, 2016

Waking at 5:00, the temperature was 55 degrees and it looks like we got a little bit of rain. You can pick up a weather forecast for the week at the Discovery Center, and it called for a perfect 76 with passing clouds. Our adventures of the day were to hike to Lake Poisson and see a waterfall. This is rated a moderate hike of 7.2K round trip – sounds good. Then in the afternoon we would just drive north through the park to see more before we move to the eastern part of the park tomorrow. The hike started with a gravel road, straight uphill for what may have been a mile. It finally leveled out and became a trail opening into a beautiful meadow with a small lake. We continued on to a divide and a sign that said falls in 1K and followed it to a very pretty lake. The hike around the lake to the falls was strenuous. Being August, there was only a trickle of water coming over the falls, but it was pretty. We rested and had a granola bar before starting the trip back. Obviously not in good enough shape, we were spent when we got back. After lunch, Martha read while I went to the Discovery Center to post. I could connect on my phone, but not on my computer. Asking several people, I finally resolved that they probably set it up this way so the WIFI doesn’t get bogged down with people like me uploading tons of pictures, movies and other things. I will need to find another place outside the park, maybe a Timmy Horton’s or Mickey D’s.

We took a drive north to try to see more of the park and found a beautiful waterfall, and only a 750 meter walk to it along the Diable River. This river is really special! It is so beautiful and flows in and out of lakes through the entire park. It has many personalities as it travels, but this waterfall is probably where it got its name. If you were happily traveling along in your canoe, it could be very difficult to stop before going over the waterfall and it is all rocks below. Otherwise this is an incredible river. I have only seen three fishermen on it. 

Driving further north, the road turns to gravel, reminding me of our previous fishing trip across Canada and the hundreds of miles we traveled on gravel roads. It does a number on your shocks and tires, but it is very pretty. The drives through Mont Tremblant are listed in National Geographic’s 500 best drives in the world, especially in fall colors. There are tons of maples and others I don’t know, but it would be spectacular.

There are 48 miles of bike trails in this section of the park, some being perfectly manicured roads really. Others are trails through the woods. This park gets heavy use being only a short distance north of Montreal, but somehow they keep it so nice. They use a variety of “adventures” to help pay their expenses.

“Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This”

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Parks in Quebec

Parks in Quebec

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Waking up with no power and no water after last night’s storm, we had just enough water for two cups of coffee. The storm brought a cool front in and it was a delightful morning, but first to find a bathroom. With no power, the campground locked all the bathrooms. Well this was interesting as there are a lot of campers! After some driving around and a visit to the office, we remembered the remote campsites which have “rustic” bathrooms. Now on to the rest of the day:} First we visited the Nature Center, but it wasn’t much. They do have WIFI though, so I will return tomorrow morning. Hopefully I can pick it up outside before it opens. Then we took an easy hike to Lac de Femmes. We returned for lunch and both had a good nap. 

A nice group with kayaks had told us of an easy float on the Riviere de la Diable. The name had been throwing me off, but it did look quite beautiful. The guys assured Martha that it was an easy 50 minute float, and she might see some wildlife. I put her on the river with a two-way radio at 2:00 and headed to the office to see about fishing licenses. People were line up out the door, so I decided to see what I could do online…..if I could ever get online. There was a path to the river behind the office, so I wandered down it, passing a group of adventurers headed for the cliff walk. They sell a lot of different adventures, kayaking, hiking and climbing, but this rock face climb is pretty popular. As I walked and explored along this beautiful, black water river, I got a pretty good view of the rock face. Geez, are those little colored dots people? Sure enough I got some pictures of people with their toes on narrow ledges! 

Martha had a great trip down the river. There were lots of others doing the same thing, so she felt very safe and could enjoy the ride. It took her a little over an hour on this beautiful 76 degree day. She said it was a beautiful float, with good current to carry you along, but no rapids. We came back to camp, showered and had a glass of wine before dinner, having to put a sweater on by dinner time. After a little difficulty at the start, Martha said it didn’t get any better than this.